Tanzania: Farmers Digital Network Sets Foot in Tanzania

WEFARM, a farmer-tofarmer digital network, has expanded operations in Tanzania after helping more than 1.5 million small scale farmers in Kenya and Uganda to share information and knowledge about farming activities.

The General Manager of the digital network platform, Nicholas John said in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday that they would officially launch their operations in Tanzania tomorrow after a successful brief period of trials in Iringa, Njombe and Songwe regions.

"We got a very good response from the government. We were insisted on sustainability.

The minister (of Agriculture, Japhet Hasunga) was very keen on our modal," he said at a meeting with editors of mainstream media.

The General Manager said they expected to expand to other regions after the launching event and were optimistic of registering between 40,000 and 50,000 new members every month in Tanzania.

"We have set a month target of between 40,000 and 50,000 new members and we hope by the end of the year we will have 300,000 farmers in our ecosystem," he said.

We farm vision is to create an ecosystem for global smallholder agriculture, connecting farmers to the information, agricultural inputs, goods, services and ultimately markets they want, he said.

Wefarm has more than 1.5 farmers in Kenya and Uganda who connect with one another to solve problems, share ideas and spread innovation, through SMS without needing an internet connection.

Aimed at small-scale farmers, Wefarm is a USSDenabled platform that allows growers to share information - for free, in their own language and without any internet. Its network allows farmers to ask one another agriculture- related question and share ideas.

Wefarm Head of Field in Tanzania, Cyrila Antony said farmers share more than 40,000 questions and answers every day in four languages and the questions takes a maximum of 13 minutes to get an answer.

"Utilising the latest machine learning technology, Wefarm's service gets bespoke, crowd- sourced information to help farmers increase yields, gain insight into pricing, tackle the effects of climate change, source the best quality seeds, fertilizer and loans and diversify their agricultural interests," she said.

Since its founding in 2015, Wefarm has been named one of Africa's Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company and has won Google's Impact Challenge Award, TechCrunch's Europas Tech for Good Award and the European Union Commission's Ideas from Europe prize, among others.

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